Located in Empire, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak is celebrating winter in Northern Michigan with a new challenge that requires you to head outdoors and play in the water AND on the snow in the same day. Are you up for this Northern Michigan outdoors challenge?

Sleeping Bear Surf and Kayak is a family-owned and operated surf shop located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire. Founded in 2004 as the first full-service surf shop in the state of Michigan, the team shares their passion while advocating for our Great Lakes and human-powered play.

The Bear the Elements Challenge was designed to inspire people to embrace what the weather holds each day, despite how few or far between beautiful sunshine-filled days are in the winter. The main goal is to bring extra joy and excitement to members of the community and residents of the Great Lakes by encouraging connection to the outdoors that can’t be deterred by the cold and to experience the magic of a Northern Michigan winter.

“Winter on the Great Lakes provides an opportunity that is uniquely special to our region — the ability to score perfect waves or a peaceful paddle, and in the same day, epic pow turns, or an xc ski on the Vasa Trail, for those who are hardy enough to bear the elements,” says Ella Skrocki, Manager of Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak.

Bear the Elements Challenge

Photo by Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak

How to Enter Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak’s Contest

The challenge is simple- find a way to play on the snow and water within the same day this winter. Participants can enter all winter long, through the first day of spring on March 20. Entries will be accepted on both Facebook and Instagram. If you’re not on social media, you can also enter through email at ella@sbsurfandkayak.com with the subject “Bear the Elements.”

Every Challenge participant is awarded 2 day passes to ski FREE at The Homestead Resort! That’s a $100 dollar value just for participating. Take on the challenge by the following dates for a chance to WIN tickets to some more rad Michigan ski resorts!

By March 1 | 2 full-day passes to Pine Knob
By March 7 | 2 full-day passes to Marquette Mountain

How to Enter the ‘Bear the Elements’ Contest
Step 1 | Get on the SNOW and the WATER within the same day! (Bonus points for the trifecta (snow, skate, surf)
Step 2 | Capture your antics via photos, video clips, or make an edit
Step 3 | Post to your Instagram page making sure to:
– Follow @sleepingbearsurfandkayak
– Tag @sleepingbearsurfandkayak in your post
– Add @sleepingbearsurfandkayak & the hashtag #beartheelements in your caption

There are two categories this year: Adult and GROM. Absolutely epic 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes await winners of both categories from challenge sponsors at Vissla, AullDry, Dakine, DB Skimboards, Sunski, Surfears, and of course, Sleeping Bear Surf.

Entries will be judged on the following:
Creativity | how you merge your snow & water activities, how you capture the day
Gnarliness | the more wild the weather, the greater you bear!
Energy & Fun Havin’ | Give us that gooooood energy!

To ensure the challenge is inclusive, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak welcomes participants who may not have the resources or time to check both snow and water boxes, but who were proud of themselves for getting outside in winter conditions doing what they love!

Photo(s) by Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak